How to Launch a New Product in 9 Steps
In order to stay relevant and satisfy the newest customer needs, businesses need to know how to launch a new product. There are several processes that take place months prior to the actual launch, from strategy development to creating promotional content.
Therefore, companies should understand how to organize and launch operations to ensure their new product line can successfully penetrate the market.
9 Steps for Launching a New Product
There are several steps necessary to take before a new product's launch date. Businesses need to establish and share their marketing, forecasting, and development processes with stakeholders before releasing the product into the market.
To begin, companies need to-
1. Understand the Customer
Customer development is an essential step in a product launch, as businesses must understand what drives a customer to make a purchase. Retailers must learn their goals, motivations, inconveniences, and buying behaviors to create an impactful marketing strategy.
While established companies may have years of customer data to evaluate, startups can speak with their current shoppers to gauge their preferences. They may discuss pain points in their shopping journey, inefficiencies in product models, and even suggestions on what they would like incorporated into the customer experience.
If it is easier and yields more information, retailers should consider distributing surveys in-store, online, and via email so shoppers can take their time discussing these topics.
Once businesses define significant concerns among customers, they can begin developing solutions accordingly.
2. Create a Position Statement
To write a position statement, management needs to at least answer the three vital questions-
- Who is the product for?
- What does the product do?
- How is the product different from other products?
Businesses can go even further into details for their positioning statement by defining-
- Who is the target audience?
- What segment(s) of the target audience is predicted to buy the product?
- What is the brand name of the product?
- What category does the product fall into?
- How is the product different from the competitors' brands?
3. Make the Pitch
After the position statement is finalized, the business should present it to their stakeholders to ensure all executives are on the same page.
This also serves as a test run for the product launch, for if the employees aren't on board, it's a good indicator that the customers won't be either.
4. Develop Marketing Strategies
A marketing strategy is used for both the initial launch and the product's entire lifecycle. Therefore, businesses must carefully assess their options. The marketing strategy should consider the product's category, prospective consumers, and content in order to pitch the item.
An effective strategy will maintain the customer's attention throughout the awareness, consideration, and purchase decision stage to secure the sale.
5. Set Objectives
Before creating promotional content, businesses need to set goals for their product launch. By establishing the goals at the beginning, project managers can keep them in mind during the entire process to ensure every action is taken to achieve the final objective.
Management should consider using the SMART goals template, which ensures objectives are-
6. Create Promotional Content
Using the SMART goals template to define objectives makes creating promotional content that much easier. Promotions should align with the business's position, objectives, and marketing strategies. Content comes in many forms, including-
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Website articles
Each form of content can play a special role in different stages of the shopper's journey. Therefore, retailers should develop several content sources and determine where they best serve the customer.
7. Prepare a Team
When everything is ready for the launch, all stakeholders, employees, and executives must be prepared as well. Managers should keep everyone involved and updated about the launch performance through continual communication.
8. Launch the Product
After performing final checks, it is time to launch the product.
9. Evaluate Progression
Once the project is launched, managers should keep a close eye on performance metrics and customer feedback so they can correct issues as they arise. Businesses should be flexible and willing to adjust their strategies if the product isn't meeting performance targets.
Tips for Launching a New Product
When launching a new product, it is wise to learn the best practices.
- A business's product positioning should represent the current shift in the market and how the customers can take advantage of it.
- Companies should set a recurring schedule for employees and stakeholders to routinely check in on the launch and ensure it's consistently meeting performance goals.
- Project managers should continuously update the product team on the newest insights and achievements of the marketing campaign.
While these are great practices to consider, it is also important for companies to recognize if they need to delay their launch. The three most common reasons to delay a product launch include-
- When product development isn't meeting scheduled targets, and the timeline needs to be altered.
- When customers have a poor experience with products in the same category. Shoppers must be satisfied with similar, existing products before the new item is introduced.
- When something emerges in the international, national, state, or local market that requires consumers to reevaluate their priorities and buying behaviors. In this case, managers must adapt their strategies to reflect this shift to optimize the launch.
There are many moving parts in a product launch. Therefore, businesses should carefully evaluate their options to determine which strategies fit their needs.